Sunday, November 23, 2014

Schlumberger Essays

Over the past month our SWE members have been hard at work writing essays to submit to the annual Schlumerger Stilettos to Steel Toes Essay Contest. At the beginning of this month Schlumberger announced the top three essays from each section.
We want to congratulate our top three essay winners:
 1. Monica Leszczynski
2. Cassie Megna
3. Jessica Ranni

We had 31 submissions this year so a big thank you to everyone who participated- you are what makes this section great.

In honor of the winners here are the first and second place essays! Enjoy the read :)

First Place: Monica Leszczynski
I have always been determined to achieve my goals and have never been hindered by restrictions placed upon me on the basis of gender. Growing up with three brothers, I have never considered myself to be at a disadvantage, nor have I ever been treated unequally due to the fact that I am a female. In addition to being surrounded by a male dominated household, I have also been accompanied by predominately members of the other sex during my work experience over the past few years. At an early age, I took an interest in my family’s metal fabrication business and was curious as to how exactly the products were manufactured. As I matured and gained hands on experience at the business, my interest in engineering continued to grow. With this interest soon came an observation: I noticed that there was an absence of females on the production floor. Never throughout the course of my day did I encounter women holding welding torches, programming laser machines, operating lathes or milling machines, moving materials, or preparing shipments.  Yet, this realization did not deter my innate interest in wanting to be more actively involved on the production floor, but rather, it catalyzed my unique passion to make change in this “man’s world.”

My ultimate goal is to continue my family’s 30 year “Made in America” dedication to manufacturing in Connecticut with a keen focus on recruiting, training, empowering, and promoting women. I am fully committed to altering the views of what women are capable of doing, and firmly believe that females are more than qualified to bring a fresh and perhaps even better approach to the male dominated industrial world. Though at first skeptical of my abilities, my shop floor supervisors today find themselves fighting over who will have me working in their departments next. Now as I dust off my pink steel toe boots after a great day at work, I know I will someday make changes, give women more opportunities, and contribute far more to manufacturing than most males ever will.

Second Place: Cassie Megna
Engineers have endless opportunities at their doorstep.  How will you blaze your own trail?
The time ticked slowly as I typed on my keyboard inside the congested area called “my space”. My family pictures lined my desk, the ongoing sounds of machines combined with work chatter circled around me, and the same co-worker in a neighboring cubical talked for hours on end with her boyfriend. Putting it all together I felt as if something was wrong. I cringed every second of hearing her laugh like a high pitched hyena, and I could picture her there; feet up on the desk, twirling her hair, with the wad of gum in her mouth just laughing away the work day as I tried each and every day to get my reports done. It occurred to me then, why am I here?
Why am I not an engineer? A person whose opportunities could line the hallways of this overcrowded workplace. A student who went to school to become a person whose innovation changed the face of exists, whose small idea fixed a lifestyle that no one could imagine themselves without. Biomedical, chemical, mechanical, nuclear, aeronautical, industrial, and civil, these opportunities seemed endless. I see myself in a crowded lecture hall listening to the systems of the human body, scribbling little side notes of how this works or that works and how I can enhance it. The ongoing problems and solutions circling in my head and the only problem that I seem to face is: Do I have enough time to build it all?
Looking back I can see, why my decision was made, because anything is possible, the time ticks away problems and solutions not machines and cubical talk. I create and design what the world needs not what the world wants. I design what the world can’t imagine themselves without. Not paper reports written in stuffed cubicles. I will reinvent my path with prototypes and solutions that change my family, my neighbors, myself, and everyone else’s life for the better. I handed my high heels for steel toed boots and never looked because: I need to innovate. I need to solve. I need to be an engineer. 

Five Common Mistakes Grads Make While Job-Hunting

It's about that time of year again where we start looking for summer or full time jobs. Have you had any luck this year? Not sure why you're being overlooked in the screening process? Elite Daily recently posted some common mistakes that grads make when they're job-hunting. Here are their 5 common mistakes recent grads make when looking for work:

1. Not knowing what their unique value proposition is...

2. Not knowing what employer, job, or industry you want to work for...

3. Not knowing how to meet the key influencers and decision makers

4. Not gaining marketable skills outside class

5. Not doing internships and volunteering the smart way.

Avoiding these common mistakes can save you a lot of struggle while searching for a job. Now is the time to take action and check out this article to land that job!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Leena Gade Swipes Another Victory at Le Mans

Being a part of SWE means taking pride in the success of fellow woman engineers. This month we take a look at Leena Gade. For those of you who haven't heard about Leena Gade, back in 2011 she became the first female engineer to win a race at Le Mans. Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing held in France. This race is considered to be one of the most prestigious automobile races and teams that enter must consider many mechanical factors to ensure that their car comes out on top.
Leena Gade has had a ton of success in the past three years. She recently snagged her third consecutive win at Le Mans as a part of the Audi racing team. Despite her success Gade was told that she would never make it as an engineer. This only fueled her desires. She worked hard to get to where she is today. She is living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to.

For more on Leena Gade please take a look at the following links!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Best Companies for Multicultural Women

Part of the SWE mission is diversifying the workforce!  Recently an article was published on the 2014 Best Companies for Multicultural Women.  The Executive Summary has data on representation in the workforce, by job level, board of directors membership, promotion, hiring, support for advancement, and much more!

Check out the article here:
Executive Summary:

Quoted from the Executive Summary (page 4):

Summary of 2014 Findings

  • Notably, at the 2014 Best Companies for Multicultural Women, 9% of executives who report directly to the CEO are multicultural women, up from 5% last year. 
  • Multicultural women represent 12% of the Best Companies’ top earners (defined as those among the top 20% of earners at the company); last year this number was 10%.
  • Sixty-four percent of Best Companies compensate managers on their diversity results, up from 60% last year. 
  • Representation of multicultural women at the senior manager (8%) and corporate executive (4%) positions each increased one percentage point in the past year.
  • Total representation of multicultural women at all job levels (including non-manager, manager, senior manager and corporate executive) also increased one percentage point to 20% (from 19% in 2013). 
  • Multicultural women received 13% of all promotions to manager and above at the Best Companies, down from 15% in 2013.
  • All Best Companies offer mentoring to multicultural women employees. (Shout out to RPI's Women Mentoring Program!  It is great to find mentors in all stages of your life.)
  • Ninety-two percent of Best Companies offer career counseling; 61% of female multicultural employees participate in career counseling at the Best Companies

Friday, July 18, 2014

RPI SWE Book Club Reading List!

Starting this semester, RPI SWE will be holding a monthly book club!  This will be a great opportunity to socialize with other members over a snack and a good read.  Below are the dates of when book club will meet as well as which book we’ll be discussing.  Feel free to get a jump start and read them this summer!

All books are available through the RPI library, though you may have to wait for them to get the book from another library.  The Amazon links are included if you’d like to order them online or get a better idea of what the books is about.  If you have trouble getting a copy or have any questions, feel free to email Emily Frantz,


Friday, September 19th
"Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg

Thursday, October 16th
"Letters to a Young Scientist" by Edward O. Wilson

Thursday, November 20th
"Brilliant Blunders" by Mario Livio

Monday, December 16, 2013

RPI SWE Goes to Conference!

On October 24-26, 16 members of RPI SWE traveled to Baltimore, MD for WE13, the annual conference for the Society of Women Engineers. It was a great experience---attending various sessions, meeting other SWE members, going to the Career Fair, and much more! Hear what some of members had to say about their experience attending conference below.

RPI SWE members posing with our Gold Outstanding Collegiate Section award

"SWE Conference was such a great experience. My favorite session that I attended was the Keynote Speaker. She gave a great speech about women moving up the ranks in the work force. Also the career fair was a great experience as well. I got to talk to many companies and made great connections, which went along with the theme of the conference." ---Morgan Kube

"This year was my third SWE Conference and it was amazing and bigger than ever! Everything was really impressive, especially the career fair. Even though I wasn’t looking for an internship, the recruiters were very nice and there was so much free stuff to collect. My favorite session was one on membership, it was really cool because everyone shared their best practices and I learned a lot of new ideas that I would like to bring back to RPI SWE!" ---Ashley Vassell

"I loved that they really promoted networking! It was something I really disliked doing, but going to networking sessions definitely gave me lots of practice for future career fairs and other meet and greet opportunities." ---Obe Aye-Addo

"The Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference was great! There were so many opportunities to network, learn, and have fun. I went to a lot of workshops, but I learned the most from an outreach workshop that gave me a ton of great ideas for future outreach events at RPI!" ---Jessica Stieglitz

"Conference is the happiest time of the year!  It is the opportunity to learn a little about your field (I learned how to address misconceptions of nuclear energy), to learn about SWE on a regional or international level (attending the Region F meeting I was able to network with collegiate and professional members in our region), to apply for positions (going to the largest career fair I had the opportunity to interview for my dream company), see a new city (the Baltimore Ravens are named after Edgar Allen Poe's, "the Raven"), AND meet lots of SWisters!  I highly recommend going to a conference during your collegiate career!" ---Emily Frantz

"Conference was such a rewarding experience. I was able to connect with collegiates from across the country. The sessions gave me a number of valuable experiences. One in particular taught me how I could both respectfully and efficiently communicate with the deaf community." ---Carolyn Chlebek

Sunday, December 1, 2013

October Member of the Month: Niyati Desai

I have been involved in SWE since my freshmen year, and I have enjoyed every second of it!  Whether it’s seeing the friendly faces at the monthly GBMs, or even being invited to shadow an officer and attend the SWE-Board meetings this past spring, SWE has given me many opportunities to expand my horizons both professionally and personally, and to make new friends and networking contacts.  One of the many enriching opportunities that SWE has presented me with was the chance to volunteer during the Exploring Engineering Day weekend this past February.  This annual event takes place in celebration of National Engineers Week, and is an opportunity for students in grades 3 to 6 to participate in fun activities that introduce them to the work that engineers do in the STEM fields.  It was very rewarding to see all of the eager kids excited to learn, and I’m glad I could share my passion for engineering with them!  This semester I am also involved in the Regional Conference Committee, and we are working on putting together a presentation for the next Region F Conference to make a bid to host the 2015 conference here at RPI!  Our preparations are coming along well, and I hope that we win the bid, because hosting the conference would not only be very exciting, but a great opportunity for our RPI SWE section to prosper and advance even more!  I look forward to participating in even more enriching and rewarding events with SWE!